The Crack Shack #2 Opening in Encinitas

This past Tuesday the littlest and I headed out to Encinitas to check out the latest from Juniper & Ivy owner Michael Rosen and acclaimed Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais. The Crack Shack Encinitas, the second location of their fast casual concept restaurant that originated in Little Italy, is opening up on Monday, 2/13 at 9am. 

Occupying a former Coco’s – originally a Bob’s Big Boy circa 1975 – on the bustling corner of Encinitas Boulevard and Calle Magdalena, The Crack Shack Encinitas brings the brand’s playful approach to traditional chicken and eggs to coastal North County. Even the toddlers will want to come back again and again after enjoying this deliciousness! 

Just like their location to the south,  The Crack Shack Encinitas menu features an all-day selection devoted to fried (or grilled) chicken and egg-centric dishes conceptualized by Chefs Blais and Jon Sloan (Juniper & Ivy Executive Chef.) However, the new location will expand its offerings with the addition of their six signature sauces on tap, and an espresso bar fueled by the local Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

The Food

Sourcing both produce and proteins from boutique local farms, the menu utilizes free range, non-GMO eggs and high-end organic ingredients while relying on its own custom bread program to produce hundreds of handcrafted English muffins daily. My little one’s favorite part of the menu? The “deviled chickens” or deviled eggs. The delicious eggs are paired with candied bacon and a french toast crumble to create a tasty 2-3 bite appetizer. 

Other menu highlights include The Royale with savory chicken sausage, organic sunny side egg and smoked cheddar on a house made English muffin, the Firebird with spicy fried thigh, cool ranch, crispy onions, and pickles on a potato roll, Fried Chicken available in five or ten piece portions, hearty Matzo Ball Posole with braised chicken, lime, schmaltz, and all the fixins’, as well as lighter options such as the Downward Dog with local vegetables, hazelnuts, quinoa, hummus, kale, lemon yogurt vinaigrette and option to add a fried egg and the newly revamped Kale Salad with sliced apples, goat cheese, hazelnuts and champagne vinaigrette. But my favorite salad has to be the Baja Chop. Absolutely outstanding! 

The Crack Shack’s signature topping-centric Soft Serve will also be making its way to the Encinitas location, in addition to a variety of other desserts to complement the savory side of the menu.

To seamlessly balance the restaurant’s chicken- and egg-inspired menu, The Crack Shack Encinitas will feature a full bar program with craft cocktails developed by Bar Manager Eric Johnson, while also offering 32 taps – including two on nitro – of local craft beer and wine at their 18-seat wraparound bar. Mindful of the range of meal opportunities presented by the all-day menu, Johnson’s drink list has been fashioned with something to appeal to imbibers at any and every point in the day, and the beverage program will also include a variety of options catering to those abstaining from alcohol. 

We were able to chat with Eric and are excited to come back and try some of the tasty cocktails he’s crafting up. Including some beer cocktails, classic flavors, and a few locally highlighted breweries on tap. 

The Ambiance

With the keen attention to detail they applied at the original location, Bluemotif Architecture is back again with a strong emphasis on the overall experience that The Crack Shack Encinitas will provide, and design elements that play to that mindset. In addition to staying consistent with signature elements from Little Italy – custom-made tables, bocce ball court (that can be turned into a putting green if needed) – The Crack Shack Encinitas will feature a kid-friendly sandbox and chalkboard wall, an all-weather outdoor dining area with retractable roof, chicken-themed American Gothic mural, custom chandelier, and a semi-private room with fireplace and multiple large screen TV screens along with the restaurant’s now signature nine-foot-tall chicken statue.

If you have small kids, this outdoor area is the perfect place for you to enjoy good food and a good beer while still entertaining the little ones. The one thing the little one wanted to do when we got there was jump into the sand box. Too bad it had rained the night before! Next time we come back, it’s on! 

Keeping the original bones and concrete floors from the Coco’s overhaul, additional construction of The Crack Shack Encinitas has centered around a focus on sustainability and an homage to the true chicken ‘coop’. Each design element has a story to tell from the reclaimed corrugated metal roofing that was part of an actual chicken barn to the communal table benches made from local Torrey pines that fell naturally due to weather or age. The landscaping is deliberately native and drought-tolerant, while solar panels on the roof work to offset power consumption. Additionally, the design team has incorporated chicken coop wire to surround the outdoor fire pit, as well as stained mirrors, vintage inspired tiles and a trough-style sink, all reminiscent of the mid-century chicken farms that defined portions of American history.

From the custom-made communal tables, including one with seating for 10 along an open fire pit, to the various large screen TVs, low Adirondack-style chairs, and turf court that can be utilized for bocce, cornhole and mini-golf, the indoor-outdoor dining area was intentionally designed to encourage guests to eat, drink and linger throughout the day, while the retractable roof eliminates weather concerns that are sometimes a consideration at the Little Italy location. 

Meanwhile, those opting to take their meal to-go experience an expedited ordering process from a walk-up station that affords the opportunity to skip long lines at the main entrance.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy The Crack Shack – dine in or take out – I suggest just heading over and trying a little of everything! 

The Crack Shack is located at 407 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas, CA. For complete information, visit: www.crack-shack.com.

You can follow The Crack Shack on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Kids Eat Free Wednesdays at St. Tropez Bistro

A few weeks ago we were invited up to Encinitas to check out St. Tropez Bistro in celebration of a new offer they’re providing to guests. St. Tropez is introducing Kids Eat Free Wednesdays, where up to two kids can order free kids menu dishes, with the purchase of an adult entree and drink (cannot be combined with other offers or discounts). 

One thing I love is a restaurant that caters to kids. When my husband and I first had kids, we were always nervous to check out new places for fear that others would give us glances or stares when our kids started getting “too loud” for the type of restaurant we were at. So when we find a good family-friendly place, we like to share it with everyone! 

The second thing I love? When the kids menu includes breakfast items all day. Because there’s not much my kids love more than a stack of pancakes and some whipped cream. 

The Atmosphere

As soon as we found parking (boy is that hard to do on a busy day!) we made our way into the small courtyard where Saint Tropez is located. There’s a nice water fountain and little shops all around the courtyard. We found a table outside near the fountain and settled the kids in before heading inside to order. 

Having the option to sit outside with the kids is always a good thing. Especially when it’s a nice day out and the weather is enjoyable. We don’t have to limit them to sitting at the table for the whole meal when they’ve eaten what’s on their plates. 

The Menu

As I mentioned before, the kids love breakfast foods for lunch and dinner. So when they saw pancakes on the menu, they jumped at the chance to order some. But my youngest decided to be a little different and went for the mac and cheese. Each kids meal came with a small bowl of fruit. 

I took quite a while to decide what I wanted to eat because I just wasn’t sure what to try. There were savory crepes, quiches, salads and sandwiches. With a slight nip in the air I wanted something warm. So I went with the Menton panini: roast beef, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and garlic aioli. With the paninis you can opt for a cup of fruit or soup for a small up charge. I chose the french onion soup to pair with my panini. The sandwiches also come with a side salad leaving me very satisfied and full when I was done eating. 

My husband went for his go-to hot sandwich: the tuna melt. And while he wanted to love it, it was a little too dry for his liking. He did enjoy his side salad as well. 

Dessert

One thing you notice as soon as you walk into St. Tropez Bistro are the desserts. Oh the desserts! As soon as we asked the kids if they wanted to try one, their faces lit up. Each of them chose something different: my son chose a chocolate dipped heart sugar cookie, my older daughter chose a brownie (so her!), and the littlest wanted the sprinkle tree sugar cookie. 

But I couldn’t choose something from the display window. I needed to try one of their delicious crepes from the menu! I narrowed it down to the Caramel Apple crepes or the Strawberry Nutella crepes and the strawberry nutella crepes won out. They were served warm and wrapped like little burritos then covered with a drizzle of nutella and good helping of whipped cream. I may or may not have wanted to lick the plate…


St. Tropez has also signed on with UberEATS. Download the app and order from St. Tropez at your convenience, delivered right to your door. And in celebration of National Croissant Day, on Monday, Jan. 30 you can get a free coffee with purchase of a croissant.

They are located at 947 S Coast Hwy 101 (Encinitas, 92024). For more information, please visit www.StTropezEncinitas.com

What is your kids go to menu item when eating out? 

Greystone Steakhouse | San Diego Restaurant Week January 15th – 22nd 2017

 

One of the best things about date night in San Diego, besides the weather, is the plethora of dinner options downtown after we head out of the theater. This past weekend our season tickets to Broadway SD took us to see Rent. It was my first time and I loved it. Why hadn’t I seen it before? I have friends who’ve seen it over 5 times (at various theaters)! After the musical, we were invited to try out the delicious sounding Restaurant Week menu at Greystone Steakhouse on 5th Avenue. Neither my husband or I had ever been there but the menu online was quite intriguing. Certified waygu beef straight from the source? Delicious surf and turf options? Yes please! 

Greystone Steakhouse | San Diego Gaslamp

We were able to walk to the restaurant from the civic theater in less than 10 minutes. The perfect distance to take in the city but not feel out of breath getting from one place to another. And once we walked up we were greeted by a host at their outdoor patio. We walked in and went through the bar and up to an intimate seating area. There was another seating area downstairs from where we were that mirrored the same layout. 

Greystone Steakhouse | The Food

To start we ordered the kale cesar salad. It was the perfect ratio of lettuce to cheese to dressing and the crunch of the romaine fit in perfectly with the earthiness of the kale. Shortly after enjoying our salads we were asked if we’d like to try a few of their other options. The wildboar sausage and big eye tuna tartar were brought out for us to sample. I could not get enough of either however my husband preferred the wildboar sausage. Sweet and savory all on one plate! But to be fair, he’s not much of a raw fish person. 

Then our entrees came out. My husband is a huge steak fan and ordered the petite filet where I wanted to try something a little different. Now I know chicken may not sound different but I hadn’t ordered a chicken dish in so long. And the smoked butter-basted chicken breast with leeks, artichokes, and mushrooms sounded too good not to try. I was also pleasantly surprised to find saffron cauliflower mash. Since I’m following a low carb diet, this meal was right up my alley! And for those who are gluten free, almost the entire menu is gluten free as well! There are also select dishes that are dairy free also. What a great find, right? Another delicious side that was brought out for us to try were the bacon fig brussel sprouts. I thought they were a bit too sweet for my taste but my husband enjoyed one or two alongside is mashed potatoes. 

When dessert came, my husband couldn’t decide between the chocolate lava cake (they flambe it!) or the lemoncello sponge cake so our kind waiter talked him into getting both. The tableside flambe really was a treat! And the lemoncello cake came with a shot of lemoncello. I know a few people who would LOVE this dessert. Since I’m not eating sweets right now, we had plenty left over for the kids to help dig into. And boy did they like that. 

Greystone Steakhouse | Restaurant Week Highlights

For San Diego Restaurant Week, Greystone Steakhouse offers 3 different selections for dinner options with them. a $40 person menu, a $50 person menu, and a $60 person menu. You can find all of the selections offered in each menu here

And as I mentioned previously, this restaurant is perfect for those who are gluten free or dairy free and have such a large array of options to fit any dietary needs. The saffron cauliflower mash was amazing and paired perfectly with my chicken (or my husband’s filet). And the food was so full of layered flavor. Definitely a treat for date night! 

San Diego Restaurant Week | January 15th – 22nd 2017

The 13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 15th through Sunday, January 22nd for an edible extravaganza to ring in the New Year! With over 180 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County, you’re sure to find the perfect place to satisfy any craving. San Diego Restaurant Week is proud to announce a very delicious partnership for January 2017 as many of the San Diego Restaurant Week restaurants team up with local Girl Scouts to celebrate the arrival of Girl Scouting in San Diego 100 years ago, as well as the 100th anniversary of delectable, scrumptious, delicious Girl Scout Cookies! To celebrate, chefs are getting creative with America’s favorite cookies to dish out special offerings for SDRW diners.

Over 180 participating restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20 per person. The participating restaurants span across the county from the South Bay to East County and to the borders of Oceanside and Fallbrook to the North.

Satisfy your cookie cravings early by dining out at participating restaurants offering sweet and savory menu items before Girl Scout Cookie Season begins! Enjoy dishes featuring Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Samoas, Tagalongs, and Savannah Smiles used in recipes that are sure to surprise you. Naturally, you can expect decadent desserts featuring these beloved cookies – but our restaurants are taking Girl Scout cookies to the next level with dishes like Samoas Crusted Fried Shrimp, Do-si-dos Peanut Thai Chicken, salads featuring toasted Trefoil croutons, and more!

Now is your time to dine with over 150,000 fellow diners to celebrate San Diego’s thriving culinary scene. Tickets are not necessary for this delectable week of discounted dining, but reservations are recommended! Visit SanDiegoRestaurantWeek.com for more information, including a list of participating restaurants, or to make your reservations in advance!

What restaurant are you looking forward to trying?

Here are a few we’ve tried in the past: 

Double Standard

SHIMBASHI Izakaya

The Hake Restaurant & Bar

Grant Grill

Oceanaire Seafood Room

 

Double Standard | San Diego Restaurant Week September 25th – October 2nd 2016

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This Sunday kicks off San Diego Restaurant Week and it is the perfect time to explore San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and incredible restaurants. Not only are there over 180 participating restaurants but you can choose to dine for lunch or dinner. We were invited to head over to Double Standard in downtown San Diego to sample their amazing menu. 

We headed over for lunchtime before taking the kids to see The Lion King at the Civic Theater but were treated with some dinner offerings to get a sample of the amazing cuisine served by Chef Chris Gentile at dinnertime. And I have to tell you, lunch or dinner, you will NOT be disappointed with the menu. While it does change weekly due to it’s seasonality, there is always some hidden gem that you’ll just have to try. Like the amazing truffle fries or burrata bruschetta.  

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Double Standard Kitchenette | San Diego Gaslamp

As soon as we walked up to Double Standard we were taken away by the openness and flow of the space. It was warm, relaxing, and inviting. And when you are dining with your kids downtown, having spacious tables is a must. The kids quickly chose a table with a comfy couch-like booth seat. As soon as we were seated we were able to order the kids a pizza to share along with some delicious sounding truffle fries. The server was kind enough to bring out 1/2 of an order of truffle fries and 1/2 of an order of regular fries in case the kids didn’t like the truffle oil. 

We then ordered our lunch and each chose to start with something different. My husband was in the mood for a salad and I couldn’t turn down the burrata bruschetta. Who can turn down burrata? After taking a moment to look more at the menu, I settled on the short rib sandwich while my husband selected the steak sandwich. 

With the spread on our table, no one was going home hungry. And wow was it good. The freshness of the tomatoes in the bruschetta, the creaminess of the cheese. And the piece of brioche toast that came with my husband’s romaine salad? Oh wow. But then we got our sandwiches. I’m pretty sure I’d order that short rib sandwich every.single.time I came if they had the same menu. It was melt in your mouth good and, while I was full after one half (I did have to try the kids pizza and have a few truffle fries in addition to the burrata bruschetta), I wanted to eat that second half. 

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Double Standard | Restaurant Week Menu Highlights

This year you can choose to dine at Double Standard during lunch or dinner. And you won’t be limited to just a few choices on a special menu. For lunch, you can enjoy a two course meal for $20 selecting any two items on the menu (one from the Verdura section). And for dinner you are in for a treat! $50 gets you a 3 course meal that will wow you. One starter, your main course, and a bit of dulce to complete the meal. 

In addition to our amazing lunch, we were brought out a few examples of Double Standard’s dinner menu. How beautiful are these plates? Stunning. 

And the level of detail doesn’t just stop at what you see. The flavors that are created with the combination of fresh ingredients and perfect seasonings lend to some wonderful dishes. Each ingredient is thought out and no two items are paired together without a reason. If you have a chance to stop by during restaurant week, I highly suggest the octopus or scallops.  

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San Diego Restaurant Week | September 25th – October 2nd 2016

It is no secret that San Diego is quickly becoming one of the U.S.’s culinary hotspots. Whether you are a San Diego native or just want to dine out like one, San Diego Restaurant Week is the perfect time to explore San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and incredible restaurants. 

During San Diego Restaurant Week, Sunday, September 25th through Sunday, October 2nd, over 180 participating restaurants will Celebrate Local by offering you dishes featuring ingredients sourced from our region! Fresh has never tasted so good and it has never been a better time to discover why foodies LOVE San Diego!

For eight days only enjoy dishes compiled of local products and ingredients at over 180 participating restaurants throughout San Diego County. Dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. 

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What restaurant are you looking forward to trying?

Find Your Tasty Moment at Taste Of Downtown San Diego | September 15th 5-9pm

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Downtown San Diego is fast becoming known for its incredible food, bustling nightlife, and diverse culture. With so many options for your next meal out, it can be daunting to pick just one – but on Thursday, September 15th, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., you don’t have to! 

The Taste of Downtown, sponsored by Makers Quarter, offers you the chance to sample bites from 40 different restaurants throughout the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, and the Downtown Core. For those 21 and up, Blue Chair Bay Rum will be shaking up cocktails at several restaurants to accompany their tasty offerings. Taste of Downtown tickets can be purchased in advance for just $30, or $35 the day of the event.

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Taste Of Downtown San Diego | September 15th 5-9pm

WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

WHERE: Will call will be located at Rustic Root at 672 Fifth Avenue, 535 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101. Participating restaurants are located in the neighborhoods of the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, Downtown Core District, and Headquarters.

SHUTTLE: Old Town Trolley will be available throughout the evening to transport tasters to each area and neighborhood of the Taste of Downtown.

HOW MUCH: Tickets for this savory stroll are just $30 in advance and $35 the day-of the event, and all proceeds will benefit the Downtown San Diego Partnership. Get your ticket early, as this year will most definitely sell out! For tickets and further information visit www.downtownsandiego.org/events/annual-taste-of-downtown/

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Restaurants Participating

With more restaurants added daily, below is a list of participating Taste of Downtown restaurants. Restaurants with an asterisk are featuring cocktails for those 21 and up!

Gaslamp
 AD Night Club
 Analog *
 BiCE Ristorante San Diego *
 Blush Ice Bar + East West Kitchen *
 Ciro’s Pizzeria and Beerhouse
 Coyote Ugly Saloon
 Don Chido *
 Gourmet India *
 Henry’s Pub and Restaurant *
 Le Parfait Paris
 Ocean Pacific Grille
 Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse
 Rockin’ Baja Lobster *
 Royal India
 Rustic Root *
 Searsucker San Diego
 The Field Irish Pub *
 Tin Roof
 Whiskey Girl

Headquarters
 Gelato Paradiso
 Seasons 52

The Core
 BIGA
 Carne Asada Bravo
 Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant *
 Parq Restaurant *
 San Diego Donut Bar *
 Sixth Avenue Bistro
 Tender Greens
 Time Out Sports Tavern *

East Village
 Bondar’s Coffee and Sweets
 Bub’s @ the Ballpark
 Chillbox Greek Frozen Yogurt
 Cute Cakes
 East Village Tavern + Bowl
 Knotty Barrel Gastro Pub
 Lotus Thai Cuisine Downtown
 Salvucci’s
 Social Tap
 The Blind Burro
 The Deck at Moonshine Flats
 Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery

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Check out San Diego’s thriving downtown dining scene! The Downtown San Diego Partnership invites you to treat yourself and go guilt free. This tasty evening out will give attendees the opportunity to enjoy a tasting tour of Downtown’s favorite restaurants and new additions.

What restaurant are you most looking forward to trying out? 

I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets on Facebook this afternoon so keep your eye out! 

Top Things To Do For Mother’s Day in San Diego

Things To Do in San Diego for Mothers Day 2015

Looking to shower mom with love and a delicious meal on Mother’s Day? Check out these great local eats perfect for Mom and the whole family! From Coronado, to Downtown San Diego, to Del Mar, Mother’s Day is covered! And if you need gift ideas, scroll down to the bottom for some great suggestions.

If you decide to go to our pick this year – the Westgate Hotel Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch – then make sure to head right around the corner to The Headquarters afterwards for some great shopping and entertainment!

Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at the Westgate Hotel
Served in the hotel’s beautiful Fontainebleau and Versailles Salons, the Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at the Westgate Hotel will feature made to-order-omelets, fresh seafood, gourmet plates, carving and crepe stations, baked breads, pastries and a variety of gourmet desserts. In addition to the delightful unlimited feast, the Imperial Bar will serve freshly squeezed juices and endless champagne, mimosas, Bloody Marys and margaritas. Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch reservations can be made by calling 619-557-3655.
Price: $79 for adults and $39.50 for children under 12 (plus tax and gratuity).
Location: 1055 Second Avenue San Diego, CA 92101
Website

Brunch at Mister A’s
Enjoy brunch at Mister A’s, which is just minutes from Downtown and features beautiful views. Entrees include Buttermilk Fried “Chicken And Waffles” or Eggs Benedict With Fresh Crab Meat Or Pork Belly.
Price: $64.50 per person, gratuity of 20% will be added to all checks
Location: 2550 Fifth Avenue Twelfth Floor, San Diego, CA 92103
Website

Brunch at Hotel Del Coronado
An elegant brunch with live musical entertainment, a rose for each mom that attends and a children’s buffet. MENU
Price: $120 for adults and$45 for children ages 6-10 in the Crown Room, $110 for adults and $43 for children ages 6-10 in the Ballroom. Children 5 and under eat free with paying adult.
Location: 1500 Orange Ave Coronado, CA 92118
Website

Dining at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
A limited menu will be served from from 1 – 5pm. Moms ordering from this menu will eat for free!
Price: varies, you can view the menu HERE, Moms ordering from this limited menu will enjoy their entrée for FREE!
Location: 565 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA Gaslamp Quarter
Website

SEA180°’s Mother’s Day Champagne Buffet Brunch
Champagne Buffet Brunch with omelets, a pancake station, a prime rib carving station and more. MENU
Price: $64.95 adults, $12.95 kids 6-12 and kids under 6 are free
Location: 800 Seacoast Dr Imperial Beach, CA
Website

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Mother’s Day is the last day to experience the beautiful Flower Fields this season.
Price: $14.00 for Adults, $13.00 for Seniors 60+, $7.00 for Children 3-10, Children 2 and under are free
Location: 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Website


Mother’s Day at Rancho Bernardo Inn

Dine at the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn, featuring different menus throughout the day. Three different restaurants and menus: Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant | Avant | Aragon Ballroom
Price: Varies
Location: 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr., San Diego, CA 92128
Website

Hornblower Mother’s Day Cruise
Enjoy being on the water in beautiful San Diego. Two different cruises to choose from: Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch with Live Jazz or Mother’s Day Sunset Dinner Cruise. Menus: Brunch Buffet Menu, Buffet Menu or Dinner Menu
Price: Varies, depending on cruise
Location: San Diego Grape St. Pier 1800 N. Harbor Dr
Website

Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet at The Shores
Enjoy an oceanfront buffet with your Mom! Menu includes American Cheeses, Tri-Color Orzo and Artichoke Salad, Roasted Angus Top Sirloin, desserts, and a children’s station. MENU
Price: $52/person, $26 children 6-12, $4 per year children 5 and under
Location: 8110 Camino Del Oro La Jolla, CA 92037
Website

Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise
Gourmet buffet, live music and beautiful San Diego views while aboard one of the vessels of the Flagship Cruises and Events fleet. Featuring an omelet station, carving station, taco bar & more
Price: $74.50/Adult, $44.70/Child 4-12 yrs
Location: 990 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Website

Brunch at Top Of The Market
Enjoy beautiful views at one of San Diego’s finest restaurants. Entrees include Steak and Eggs, Free Range Eggs Benedict with Blue Lump Crab Cakes and Smoked Salmon Scramble Omelet.
Price: Prices vary, see MENU
Location: 750 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
Website

Mother’s Day Dining at The Grand Del Mar
Brunch at The Clubhouse Grill (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) – $42 per person, includes coffee and tea MENU
Champagne Brunch in the Elizabeth Ballroom (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) – $108 per adult | $30 per child (ages 4 – 12) MENU
Dining at Amaya (Brunch: 11:30 am – 4:00 pm Dinner: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm) – $75 per person | Children’s buffet, $30 (ages 4 – 12)
Afternoon Tea and Bubbly (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm) – $50 per person
Location: 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, CA 92130
Website

Mother’s Day Run
Run with Mom! This 5k and 10k benefits the San Diego Rescue Mission
Price: Entry fees vary. Register HERE
Location: 3000 N Mission Bay Dr. San Diego, CA 92109
Website

Mother’s Day Brunch with Shamu
Enjoy brunch inside Sea World, with a french crepe station, omelet station, french toast, bagels and much more!
Price: This special brunch is $55.00 for ages 10+ and $27.00 for ages 3-9 (Park admission is required & not included in this price)
Location: Sea World, San Diego
Website

Mother’s Day Brunch at Fleming’s Steakhouse
Enjoy delicious entrees such as Baked Brioche French Toast, Prime Rib with a Trio of Sauces, Porcini-Crusted Filet Mignon and more!
Price: $39.95 for adults and $18.95 for kids
Location: La Jolla (8970 University Center Lane, San Diego, CA 92122) and San Diego (380 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101)
Website

Mother’s Day Brunch at Eddie V’s
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., treat Mom to a decadent three-course brunch with standout menu items including an Alaskan King Crab omelet, lobster quiche Florentine, pan seared steak and eggs, and house baked fresh cinnamon rolls. Raise a glass with classic mimosas, Bellini’s or Bloody Marys.
Price: $49 for adults, $15 for kids
Location:
Website

Mother’s Day Brunch at Season’s 52
The newly introduced brunch features seasonal favorites like a vegetable frittata with roasted red peppers, mushrooms and grilled asparagus, a brick oven brioche French toast with blueberry infused syrup, and a Shakshuka with chorizo and crumbled feta. Sit out on the newly redone patio to enjoy the beautiful San Diego sunshine.
Price: varies
Location:
Website

Gifts She’ll Love:

  •  For the foodie: You can’t go wrong with chocolates and cheese. Dallmann’s Fine Chocolates offers a Wine & Chocolate pairing box with locally made chocolates selected to pair perfectly with red and white wines ($20), while Venissimo Cheese has a huge selection of cheese from around the world as well as beautiful cheese supplies like this olivewood board and knife perfect for the hostess ($65).
  •  For the art lover: Aaron Chang’s world renowned 12×12 prints of San Diego scenery, tropical landscapes and beautiful orchids make a memorable gift at a great price ($150).
  •  For the fashionista: From Free People to Dolce Vita and everything in between, Madison San Diego is a great spot to find tops, shoes, bags and jewelry. Top picks include these gold Brighton necklaces ($78) and bright Hobo clutches ($110).
  • For the book worm: Geppetto’s has a number of customizable books for little ones to surprise Mom and Grandma with including “What I Love About Mom” ($10) and “Grandma is a Super Hero” ($10). In addition to being a great shop for beautiful cards and gift wrap, Seaside Paper has a fun “Q&A a Day for Moms” journal to fill out over the course of five years – as the journal fills, it becomes a loving capsule of memories ($16.95).

Top Things To Do For Mother's Day in San Diego

What are your Mother’s Day plans?

Mother’s Day Brunch at The Westgate Hotel

Mother's Day Brunch at The Westgate Hotel

I have a confession to make. I love brunch. Like absolutely love it. From the amazing food to the day drinking to the ambiance, brunch was made for me. And I may or may not have shared that love with my five year old daughter. Sans the day drinking, of course! So when I was invited to come out to The Westgate Hotel and indulge a little in an amazing meal I couldn’t say no! And what better time than right before Mother’s Day?

I don’t know about you, but the only thing I ask for on Mother’s Day is for my family to take me out to brunch and to have a clean house that day. Simple things. But this brunch? Wow. I invited my mother-in-law and my daughter (of course) and it knocked our socks off. I would truly feel honored if my family took me here to treat me on Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - cold cuts

As soon as you walk into the hotel you’re greeted by smiling faces helping you find exactly where you need to go. And once the elevator doors open into the beautiful Fontainebleau and Versailles Salons and you walk into the gorgeous setting where they host brunch, you’re immediately relaxed and ready for a wonderful meal.

We were seated at our table and immediately greeted by our amazing server, Juan. He took care of us the whole morning and made sure that my mimosa glass was full and my mother-in-law and daughter had everything they needed. I knew we were in for a great time when he told my daughter that she was definitely old enough for a glass to drink her orange juice out of. Her little chest puffed up and she drank her OJ like a pro.

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - crepe station

The Food

Now I’ve been to many brunches in my 32 years however none have stacked up to the selection that The Westgate Hotel has. The choices you’ll have to make when you first walk through can be quite hard.

We had to take a lap around to view the selection first and then my daughter stopped at the crepe and waffle station. We watched with amazement as they made a delicious crepe for me and then flambeed some berries to nestle inside the crepe. Then they made my daughter a delicious belgian waffle with warm syrup.

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - house made crepes

We then enjoyed some delicious seafood and meats from their vast array of choices. One of my favorites? The shrimp empanandas and crab cakes. Wow! The oysters rockafeller were also outstanding. And while we didn’t make it over to the sushi bar this time, I cannot wait to try it out when we visit next!

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - shellfishMother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - seafoodMother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - sushi bar

As soon as my daughter walked to the desserts, her eyes got real big and she turned to me as if asking if she could really try whatever she chose. That childish joy that she experienced was exactly what I felt as an adult walking up to the dessert selection. From an amazing lavender panna cotta, to a chocolate hazelnut pyramid cake to many more scrumptious selections, our sweet tooth was fully satisfied.

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - desserts

The Details

The Westgate will be offering a Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch on Sunday, May 8! Served in the hotel’s beautiful Fontainebleau and Versailles Salons, brunch will feature made to-order-omelets, fresh seafood, gourmet plates, carving and crepe stations, baked breads, pastries and a variety of gourmet desserts.

In addition to the delightful unlimited feast, the Imperial Bar will serve freshly squeezed juices and endless champagne, mimosas, Bloody Marys and margaritas. The price is $79 for adults and $39.50 for children under 12 (plus tax and gratuity).

Tickets for Mother & Daughter Teas can be purchased here. Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch reservations can be made by calling 619-557-3655.

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - chocolate fountain

Looking for a place to stay in San Diego?

The Westgate Hotel is an iconic property in the heart of downtown San Diego designed to rival the mythical palaces of Europe. From its 223 elegantly appointed guest rooms to the contemporary cuisine of the award-winning Westgate Room, guests truly experience a memorable difference while enjoying European décor, attentive service, exquisite cuisine and artistic cocktails.

To reserve an overnight stay at TheWestgate Hotel, visit www.westgatehotel.com or call 800-522-1564.

Mother's Day Brunch at the Westgate Hotel - Molly and Ann

What are your plans for Mother’s Day?

Thank you to the Westgate Hotel for hosting us.

SHIMBASHI Izakaya | San Diego Restaurant Week January 17th – 24th 2016

SHIMBASHI Izakaya San Diego Restaurant Week January 17th – 24th 2016

This Sunday kicks off the first San Diego Restaurant Week of 2016 and boy are you in for a treat. San Diego Restaurant Week will take place from January 17th – 24th 2016. In those 8 days, over 180 restaurants will offer special menus to entice guests to try new things. While you peruse the restaurants participating, you’ll notice that there’s an option for every price point. From $10 for lunch, to $50 for dinner. 

I’ve been attending restaurant week for quite a few years now and am always excited to try a new restaurant each time. Whenever I head to a new-to-me restaurant, I always try to keep an open mind. And in most instances I allow the chef or waiter to choose or suggest what I should try. I have yet to be disappointed! 

This time around I ventured a little farther north to Del Mar and was invited to try the authentic Japanese cuisine of Shimbashi Izakaya. The prix fixe menu is $40, and available for both lunch and dinner.

SHIMBASHI Izakaya Del Mar SHIMBASHI Izakaya Del Mar view

Shimbashi Izakaya | Seasonal Japanese Tapas & Sake Bar

Once I sat down in the outside patio of Shimbashi Izakaya, I was immediately taken in by the beauty of my surroundings. Set in the heart of Del Mar, I had the perfect view of the Pacific ocean. The patio was surrounded by beautiful white lanterns and each table was covered wtih an umbrella. If it’s a chilly day, I recommend a light sweater since they can’t run the heaters with the umbrellas up.

Located in the Northwest corner of Del Mar Plaza, the restaurant is mainly outside on the patio and there’s a sake bar inside. You can find parking in the parking garage right behind the shops or on the street (2 hour parking). The restaurant validates up to 2 hours but it might be worth it to enjoy lunch or dinner and then walk around for a bit and pay the $2 extra for another hour. 

SHIMBASHI Izakaya appetizer

Japanese Wagyu beef, fried blue shrimp and kobushime (kelp marinated white fish) at SHIMBASHI Izakaya

SHIMBASHI Izakaya | Restaurant Week Menu Highlights

This special Restaurant Week menu includes three kinds of appetizers for each guest, Japanese Wagyu beef, fried blue shrimp and kobushime (kelp marinated white fish), along with gunkan-maki (tuna tartare) sushi. While each component was delicious, my favorite appetizer would have t obe the fried blue shrimp. They were cooked perfectly and the flavor was absolutely delicious.

Confession: I’ve never eaten a shrimp that I had to remove the head from. It was kind of fun to figure out just how to do it. Luckily my friend Angela was there to help me out and talk me through it.

Nabe, or “hot pot,” is a fixture at dinnertime in the winter in Japan. The just-cooked piping hot ingredients really warm you up. Shimbashi prepares this special hot pot menu during San Diego Restaurant Week. You may choose from the Tarachiri (cod hot pot) or the Tori-gobo (chicken and gobo burdock). If you attend during SDRW with a friend or partner,  you can each opt to choose the same option and share a large bowl vs. the smaller bowl.

To round out our meal, we each enjoyed a Futomaki sushi roll cake. With a delicious cake exterior and creamy ice cream interior, this beautifully created sushi roll cake wasn’t too overly sweet. And the portion size was perfect for the meal. This dessert pairs perfectly with a nice hot cup of green tea.

SHIMBASHI Izakaya Tori-gobo (chicken and gobo burdock)

Tori-gobo (chicken and gobo burdock) at SHIMBASHI Izakaya

SHIMBASHI Izakaya Tarachiri (cod hot pot)

Tarachiri (cod hot pot) at SHIMBASHI Izakaya

Waygu Beef Tasting

Delightfully meaty offerings from Miyazaki Prefecture, one of Japan’s best beef areas, will be served in four different forms: steak, Hamburg steak, kushiyaki, and kushikatsu. I was able to sample both the kushiyaki and kushikatsu and both simply melted in my mouth. The flavor was spot on and seasoning perfect. I would definitely enjoy indulging in more of these great selections of delicacies from Miyazaki. 

The Wagyu tasting menu is separate from the restaurant week menu, and is subject to availability. All items are limited so hurry and head over soon if you’re interested in trying them. 

SHIMBASHI Izakaya waygu beef

Waygu Kushiyaki and Waygu Kushikatsu at SHIMBASHI Izakaya

SHIMBASHI Izakaya sushi roll cake dessert

Futomaki sushi roll cake at SHIMBASHI Izakaya

During San Diego Restaurant Week, dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. This is meal-stealing, people! Saturday will once again be included as well as an additional Sunday, giving you that extra date night or chance to impress the boss!

SHIMBASHI Izakaya  San Diego Restaurant Week Menu

What restaurant are you looking forward to trying?

Cafe Coyote Old Town Celebrates Mexican Independence All Month

Cafe Coyote Old Town

One thing I always remember about growing up is how my dad raved about his father’s homemade tortillas on the weekends. He always was bummed that he never got the chance to learn how to make them himself. The pre-packaged ones just aren’t the same. Luckily here in San Diego, we can pick up fresh, homemade tortillas anytime when we stop by Cafe Coyote Old Town. Not only do they sell them to passersby on the street, they also serve them in their restaurant. And boy are they good!

This month Cafe Coyote is celebrating Mexican Independence Day all month long with delicious specials that’ll tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied. And this week, on Mexican Independence Day, I was invited to head out and try a few of the specials they have created for this special occasion. How could I say no? Mexican food is pretty much my favorite food in the world.

Cafe Coyote Old Town patioCafe Coyote Old Town - fresh handmade tortillasCafe Coyote Old Town - eating with baby

With my little buddy in tow, and help from my mother-in-law, I excited to check out the extensive margarita menu I had heard so much about. They’re just as famous for their margaritas as they are for their handmade tortillas. At quick glance, and after talking to the waitress helping us out, I decided on a delicious tamarindo margarita called “El Grito”. It’s a sweet and spicy combo that’s sure to  bring back memories of childhood if you were like me and my siblings running after the ice cream truck getting our fill of Lucas and other tamarindo candies. The “El Grito” includes Gold Tequila, Triple Sec, Tamarindo, Sweet-N-Sour, & Fresh Lime Juice.

Cafe Coyote Old Town - “El Grito” Tamarindo margaritaCafe Coyote Old Town - Sopes De Carnitas

To start out, we ordered a few of the specials celebrating Mexican Independence Day including the sopes de carnitas, birria, and Zucchini Flower Stuffed Empanadas. We enjoyed everything family style and shared so that we could taste everything. I think this is an awesome way to enjoy lunch out with friends and family and makes it easy to feed everyone, including baby.

The baby’s favorite dish? The birria. She LOVED how tender and delicious the meat was and enjoyed the broth as well. I used the fresh tortillas we ordered to help eat the soup instead of using a spoon. It was quite fun. And my favorite dish had to be the sopes de carnitas. Each was topped with a different sauce – red, green, and white in celebration of the Mexican flag – and topped with carnitas. If you’re not familiar with sopes, think of them as an open faced sandwich made with thick corn masa.

Cafe Coyote Old Town - BirriaCafe Coyote Old Town - Zucchini Flower Stuffed Empanadas

We ended our meal by indulging in the sopapillas. They’re perfect for a couple or family of 4 to share for a sweet treat. Even if you’re overly stuffed from lunch or dinner, just having a bite is well worth it. The sopapillas are dusted with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with honey, and served with ice cream and whipped cream. So good!

Cafe Coyote Old Town - Sopapillas

You can find these specials at Cafe Coyote Old Town all month along with the rest of their delicious menu. I can’t wait to come back and try one of their other dishes. It’s definitely a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere that my family would enjoy visiting. And it’s just a short walk from the sights and attractions of historic Old Town.

Cafe Coyote is also participating in San Diego Restaurant Week and from September 21st through the 27th you can indulge in lunch (choose from an appetizer and entree or entree and dessert for $10) or dinner (appetizer, entree, and dessert for $20). This is a great way to sample Cafe Coyote’s menu or try new things if you’ve already been here.

Have you visited Old Town recently?

The Hake Restaurant and Bar | San Diego Restaurant Week September 20th – 27th 2015

The Hake Restaurant in La Jolla

One thing I absolutely love to do is get out and try new restaurants here in San Diego. There are so many options when it comes to quality, delicious restaurants and it seems like new spots pop up every other week. So what I love to do is explore a bit and try new things. The perfect way to do this is to take advantage of San Diego Restaurant Week.

For one week only, September 20th – 27th, San Diego Restaurant Week, presented by Your San Diego County Lexus Dealer, will return to the City with a bang! During San Diego Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will CELEBRATE LOCAL by partnering with local distributors, farmers, vintners, brewers, fishermen and MORE in order to bring local produce and Pacific-caught seafood to your plates. You can choose from over 190 participating restaurants who will be showcasing their top dishes on lunch and dinner prix-fixe menus making your taste buds tingle with choices!

The Hake Restaurant - tables and decorThe Hake Restaurant and BarThe Hake Restaurant - drink wine!

The Hake Kitchen + Bar | Ambiance

My husband and I were invited out to try The Hake Kitchen and Bar to check out their San Diego Restaurant Week menu before it launches next week. Since we hadn’t been there before we weren’t sure what to expect. But that’s what Restaurant Week is there for! Nestled between shops and restaurants off Prospect in La Jolla, The Hake Kitchen is in a prime location. It’s the perfect spot to hit up for lunch on the weekends after a morning at the beach, or a great way to end the day for dinner during the week.

Once you walk in, you’re greeted with smiling faces a warm, friendly atmosphere.As soon as I saw the sign above, I knew I was in the right place. There’s seating inside as well as a few limited tables out on the two patios. There’s also a simple curtain divider to make room for small parties on one side of the restaurant. We chose to sit inside near the front patio and the restaurant was more than accomodating when they saw we brought our little one along. High chairs are available

The Hake Restaurant - wine and cocktail menu
The Hake Restaurant - San Diego Restaurant Week Menu 2015

The Hake Kitchen + Bar | Menu

The delicious menu with fresh seasonal ingredients will have you wanting to order more than one thing to try. Ordering a few starters for the table to share is suggested. That way you can have a bite of everything! There’s also a wide variety of signature cocktails, draft and bottled beers, and mezcal flights – something for everyone. Their most popular signature drink, the One Hot Cucumber, is a fiery drink made with jalapeno tequila, cucumber puree, lime, agave nectar, and finished with a chili rim. Definitely one to try!

The Hake Restaurant and Bar - Mandarin MuleThe Hake Restaurant and Bar - Shaved Rib EyeThe Hake Restaurant and Bar - Shrimp Roll
The Hake Kitchen + Bar | Food

I made the most of our visit and started us off with the Shaved Rib Eye. Paired with sauteed shishito peppers and onions and served with delicious hot tortillas and fresh guacamole, this definitely hit the spot. The rib eye was tender and flavorful and the peppers and onions were perfectly cooked. I’d suggest asking for a few extra tortillas so you can enjoy more of the goodness!

After we enjoyed our starter, the main courses arrived. Since we were there for lunch, we went for their shrimp roll and tuna steak sandwich. Now I was surprised by my husband’s choice of the tuna steak sandwich. Not because he doesn’t eat tuna, but because there was also a 10oz hanger steak with chimichurri sauce and truffle fries on the menu and he didn’t order that! But his tuna steak sandwich looked absolutely delicious. The shrimp roll was  filled with large shrimp and fresh veggies tossed in a light dill mayo and served in a toasted brioche roll. The first bite was rather awkward as it was pretty large but it was so worth it! Absolutely delicious. I loved how fresh and flavorful it was.

To end the meal we went a little crazy and each of us ordered a dessert. Now I’m a chocolate person. So when I saw the chocolate hazelnut cake on the menu I knew I wanted to try it. But since Joseph’s allergic to peanuts, he doesn’t really care for any nuts. So he went for the Key Lime Semifreddo. If I had tried the Key Lime Semifreddo, I would have just eaten that. It was SO good! Not at all what I expected. Not that my chocolate hazelnut cake wasn’t good, it was! Absolutely delicious. And it would pair perfectly with a nice espresso. But the key lime semifreddo? To die for! I now know why why it’s won awards!

The Hake Restaurant and Bar - Key Lime Semifreddo The Hake Restaurant and Bar - Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

San Diego Restaurant Week | September 20th – 27th 2015

To make San Diego dining easier for you ALL YEAR ROUND, San Diego Restaurant Week has launched a new website! The new site has added more extensive search features, a recipes section with local restaurantcontributors, a special offers area that will be updated throughout the year and even a place where you can log your favorites to help you track through the variety of options available for you.  The website will now serve as a tool for San Diego foodies 365 days a year for finding specials, deals and promotions at San Diego restaurants!

Dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. This is meal-stealing, people! Saturday will once again be included as well as an additional Sunday, giving you that extra date night or chance to impress the boss!

What restaurant are you trying during San Diego Restaurant Week?



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